Editorial:  Aftermath of Akosombo floods still reeling


Leading exporter of fresh bananas to the European Union (EU), the Golden Exotic Limited (GEL), has suffered immeasurable damage to its activity by the recent spillage of the Akosombo Dam.

Damage to its farms caused by the spillage-induced flood exceeds €1.825million. This includes flood damage to crops, machinery, infrastructure and others.

Corporate Affairs and Administration Manager at GEL, Mark Achel, explained that ideally, banana is usually suited for rainforest vegetation. But because the Asutuare area’s vegetation is savanna, the farm is 100 percent irrigated.

Consequently, the situation requires huge investment in machinery and irrigation technology, much of which has been damaged by the flood. GEL holds a 90 percent market share for fresh banana fruit exports from Ghana to the EU, with over 100,000 tonnes of export per annum.

While the farm management is working tirelessly to salvage the situation internally and recover lost investments, the government’s promised relief and recovery support – which is crucial for a company providing jobs to over 4,000 Ghanaians – is yet to materialise.

The promise to assist the company in recovering its losses has not been fulfilled, Mr. Angel told a visiting delegation which comprised the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day.

Apart from creating 4,000 jobs, with about 97 percent filled by locals from adjacent communities, the company has invested millions of cedis in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.These include providing education and health facilities, potable water, energy and infrastructure support to health workers and teaching staff, among others.

With all these contributions to communities’ development coupled with the huge taxes it pays to the government as an import substitution entity, it is important for the government to fulfil its promise and support to ensure the company is operating at full capacity.

It is recalled that the Volta River Authority (VRA) initiated a controlled release of water from the Akosombo Dam in October 2023. This measure unfortunately, led to flooding in low-lying areas along its course, impacting communities such as Mepe, Battor, Sogakope, Mafi, Adidome and others.

More than 26,000 individuals were displaced by these floods, resulting in the loss of homes, possessions and livelihoods. Regrettably, the floods have left a trail of damage, affected infrastructure and caused widespread damage to roads, bridges and educational facilities.

A leading foreign exchange earner for the country, GEL, has not been spared. What is of concern, however, is the lethargic response to compensating victims and properties by the state. We understand the trying economic challenges facing the country but that does not mean the victims and their livelihoods must not be addressed.

Already, the affected communities are voicing their concern about the restitution measures announced by government as very little in that direction appears to be happening. Meanwhile, those whose actions or inactions accounted for this mess are not being held accountable.

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